Monday, June 10, 2013

Milford And Waterfalls And A General Store! Oh My!

This week’s Shabbat adventure was more about driving than exploring one particular area. Our plan this past weekend took us as far as Milford, Pennsylvania where we turned around and stopped at a few places on the way back.

It’s always interesting as to where ideas come from with regard to places to visit. During an excellent discussion on Thursday, the woman interviewing me mentioned Milford which is situated just above the Delaware Water Gap. Our plan for the weekend was to explore the Gap and so this provided us with the perfect turn around point.

The drive began under an overcast sky with the clouds occasionally breaking.

We arrived in Milford in the early afternoon with music and tourists flooding the streets. For us, a music festival does not make for an ideal situation for a relaxing weekend but it was still a very nice town. After stopping at the Louis Bar in the Hotel Fauchère for a quick lunch where I had an amazing cured salmon reuben sandwich, we slowly walked around the town and stretched our legs as I took some pictures of the old buildings surrounding us.

After about 90 minutes we were back in the car on our slow journey back home. There were a couple of places we both took note of on our way up and we soon found ourselves entering the Delaware Water Gap where, a few miles in, we made our first stop at Raymondskill Falls. We parked the car in a small lot and followed our ears toward the sound of falling water.

Being the only ones on the edge of the water, we got right up to the railing and we took turns taking pictures of water beginning its freefall.

While my wife focused on the group of kayakers that floated a little too far down river, I was busy leaning over the edge to capture as much as I could of the natural beauty.

Seeing the top of the falls is one thing but we both knew that the truly astounding view is from the bottom so we made our way down the minimally maintained path to the bottom. Fortunately I am part spider monkey so it wasn’t too challenging despite my lack of physical fitness.

 As you can see in the following pictures, the view did not disappoint.

The hike back to the car was easier than expected and soon we were back in the car and on our way through the park down Route 209. We were both glad that we stopped at the unassuming falls especially when we pulled into the cluster that was waiting for us at Bushkill Falls at the southern end of the Gap (we felt like we were back in Edison, New Jersey). As it was now mid afternoon and the purpose of our day trips is to be an inexpensive weekend getaway, we were not going to spend $25 to walk down paths that resembled cattle shoots more than nature trails so, no Bushkill for us.

Rather than backtrack along the same route we came up (iPhone GPS sometimes has a very interesting way of getting you from point A to point B) we decided to just stay on 209S which we knew from our experience going to Jim Thorpe a couple of weeks ago that it would take us directly to the Northeast Extension. After seeing a few tantalizing billboards along the way, the road took us directly to our final stop of the afternoon in Lehighton

As you can see in the picture, Country Junction touts itself as “The World’s Largest General Store” so, naturally, we had to look around. We walked through the front doors and were immediately greeted by what, for my wife, was a very good sign…

Being the Wizard of Oz fanatic that she is we had no choice but to follow the yellow brick road. This store has everything and once we saw the prices we couldn’t help shopping for a few items that we have been meaning to pick up (as well as a few treats for later). We could have spent hours walking around and exploring the different departments but we knew our time was limited so we paid for our items, put them in the car, and concluded our visit by walking through the petting zoo.

I don’t know if it’s the world’s largest general store but I can say that we agreed on the final verdict. Greatest. Store. Ever.

By the time we got back on the highway we were a little tired from driving around most of the day but also reinvigorated by our little voyage which was reflected by the change in the sky as we relaxed in the car and started planning our next trip.